- Fri, 2007-08-10 14:10
Following their recent live dates with Bright Eyes and Final Fantasy, Lightspeed Champion are pleased to announce their debut UK headline tour. I Like Music spoke to Dev to discuss new album, Falling Off The Lavender Bridge, due out in September, and how making music with Lightspeed Champion differs from making music with Test-icicles.
“I Like Music because… It saved me from a life of drug addled depression…oh wait a minute!?.. no I’m joking!” Dev, Lightspeed Champion
ILM: The first single from the album is Galaxy Of The Lost. Can you tell us how the track came about and describe its whole vibe?
Dev: Hey! Well that song was probably from the last batch of songs I wrote for the album.. it was structured a little differently then and I added an extra verse whilst I was in Omaha recording.. lyrically it’s about the effects of alcohol in a relationship, but the second verse is not about that at all.. it’s about me having a horrible 2 week hangover. Haha. Musically it’s one of the songs I’m happiest about on the album.
ILM: Your album, Falling Off The Lavender Bridge is due out in September 2007. Which track did you have the most fun laying down in the studio/was the most enjoyable to record? And which was the biggest labour of love?
Dev: Wow. The album’s now been put back to January now..which is cool I guess. Most fun to record probably was galaxy of the lost. It was the first one we did when I got to the studio, and laying down the vocals was fun.. we all loved it and it turned out great, in it’s demo form no one would have guessed it would be a single.
The final song on the record No Surprise I wrote whilst in Omaha… but I wanted it on the record which meant every night whilst I wasn't in the studio I was working on this song, but I didn’t want it to be rushed and then regret putting it on the record… but all the slaving and no sleeping worked out and the string section at the end is so amazing, it’s my favourite track on the record!!
So I guess the first and last song!
ILM: You’re also releasing a home made comic book with the album. Please tell us more?
Dev: Yeah basically it’s something I’ve been working on for so long, it links with the album and is called “The Lavender Bridge”.It’s mainly about lucid dream and free will, and whether reality can be something you create or just something we get used to?! Haha…There’s also another comic I’m putting out which is a gathering of various artists I’m friends with!
ILM: What piece of hardware and piece of software could you not live without when it comes to both your music and your art?
Dev: Probably my laptop…. Art/music/life it’s all I got haha.
ILM: I gather you use a new coloured Sony VAIO CR laptop? What do you like best about it?
Dev: I do indeed, it’s really sick… big screen, everything runs smoothly and like the idea of seperate buttons for the music and dvd player. But it’s easy and quick for me to use for remixes and recording demos also.
ILM: You write romantic, epic and truthful songs. Please describe the Lightspeed Champion process of making such good songs? Does it tend to be lyrics or melody first?
Dev: I experiment constantly when it comes to writing songs. For this album I wrote most of the lyrics in one big block of writing I did on a flight back to London from Detroit. Then I wrote the music over a period of a year and then went back to the lyrics and fitted it in to the music.
The last song on the album No Surprise I wrote the lyrics as I was writing the music. There’s a song called Midnight Surprise which Is a ten minute song on the album, and also the next single!
I used an experiment which involved cleansing my emotions so that I could construct this epic pop song. Usually when I write music I don’t tend to go back to it, which explains some of the odd structures of some of the songs. But this song I wanted to work on it or a while. Kind of like building a house. I already had all the lyrics which were written on that plane journey I mentioned earlier when I was zoning in and out of sleep. I’m not sure if the experiment was a success or not… but I really like the song, haha.
ILM: How does this differ from when you were in Test-Icicles?
Dev: We wrote all those songs individually and played them too. I think there were only 3 or so songs on that record that we appeared on together as a 3 piece. We just wrote songs then recorded them, rather than fleshing them out, which I guess is also how I still work… I still write songs the same way I guess, in test-icicles lyrics were also from a block of writing I’d done separate to the music.
ILM: What have you learned about production from Mike Mogis?
Dev: Well, I guess he’s a very naturally big sounding producer… he works on things but not too much so it doesn’t lose that live and loose feeling. And he doesn’t believe in auto tune because “if they need auto tune then why are they singing?”.. simple and true.
ILM: You’re touring with Bright Eyes, is that over here in the UK or in the States? What do you like best about playing live?
Dev: It’s in the UK. Well, I find difficulty in playing live, I have crippling stage fright, so I always end up saying the dumbest shit ever.. then forget what I said as soon as I step offstage. At the moment I feel like I’m doing bad cover versions of my album haha, it’ll get better soon, my band are amazing, it’s just me that needs to work on things.
ILM: What’s the funniest or most bizarre thing that’s happened to you on tour?
Dev: Probably people actually clapping after the songs, constantly blows my mind.
ILM: What’s your advice to young musicians on succeeding in this industry?
Dev: Write the most amazing songs ever and you really can’t go wrong…apart from the odd few artists, I always find that actual talent in songwriting does tend to get people far… I need to work on that.
ILM: You were brought up in Houston and now live in London. What is the best and worst thing about Houston and the best and worst thing about London?
Dev: Wow!! Best an worst thing about Houston is probably religion, I won’t get into it, I was brought up christain, I’m not so into it now… I have my ups and downs with religion.. like a rocky marriage. London… I love this city, but rudeboys have GOT to go!!
ILM: Do you have a playlist of songs you listen to when driving or being driven?
Dev: Hmmm… on the drive back from Manchester we all listened to Nimrod by Green Day, that was completely exhilarating!!!